Tarar Ray x

So, Ray Trew has called time on his tenure as Chairman of Notts. After the simmering discontent, chiefly due to the appointment of Jamie Fullarton, turned into very vocal discontent at home to Leyton Orient, I can only think this is an inevitable move. I think it’s come very quickly, but inevitable none the less.

Trew, in an open letter to fans, laid the blame solely at the door of the ‘fans’;

“However, when my family are subjected to kind of foul, mindless abuse that they have been in recent days, both in person and courtesy of the oh so brave keyboard warriors, regardless of whether this is just the minority ruining it for the larger supporter base, I have to make changes.”

Now, I’m not privy to the abuse he and his family have received, but on a very basic human level; no one can blame him. Regardless of the choices people make, no one should be subject to any form of abuse, let alone faceless, personal abuse. If any Notts ‘fan’ has partaken in this then I hope they do not think they have ‘won’ with today’s announcement. Nobody seems to have won. We are now set back into instability, a man has left has had to leave his job to protect his family and the perpetrators probably got 3 likes on their tweet; bravo.

The dissection of Trew’s reign at Notts will take place over the coming days and weeks. I’d hope every Notts fan would join in thanking Trew for saving our club. I think Munto were the catalyst for our promotion, but without Trew there would have been no Cotterill and I don’t think many managers would have done what he did.

Whilst fans will be grateful for this, I do think Trew should come under question for a range of poor footballing decisions. For me, Curle, Allen and Derry should never have been sacked and Ince, Short, Kiwomya and Fullarton shouldn’t have been appointed. Admittedly the call on Ince is purely based on hindsight.

Yes, the MLSB looks nice, but what’s being served up on the pitch currently doesn’t. We can’t live off our ‘best bits’ DVD for our whole life.

Overall, I think it seems a decent time for both parties to go their own way. Whoever comes in has a lovely job on their hands…
Tarar Ray 

X

All this for £22 a game?

Never have I seen or heard Notts fans crucify a manager like they did today. 

As previously posted, Notts put in a horrid performance today and the day itself went from bad to worse the second Leyton Orient scored. Firstly, we heard a rendition of the classic;

“What a load of rubbish…”

Then, after Notts carved up the restart, track two started up;

“You don’t know what you’re doing…”

These two football classics were followed up with renditions of;

“Make a sub, make a sub, make a sub…” and “Jamie Fullarton, get out of our club…”

The last ‘choon’ in particular rang loud from a very, very disgruntled Kop stand. The Twittersphere blew up post 5pm. Some thought the outburst was fully justified, some saw Notts fans as being a disgrace and others were seemingly indifferent. The fact of the matter is, the general fanbase is angry but there are different theories on why. There are two quite obvious sources of the frustration.

Fullarton

Anyone who went today will tell you that wasn’t good enough. Fullarton is quite obviously a manager who wants to contain the opposition and be hard to beat. Away from home, this tactic will wash for a while. At home it is a massive no no. Especially when containing the opposition takes away from every ounce of attacking threat we possess.

Izale McLeod, undoubtedly our main source of consistent goals, is totally isolated. We cannot control games from central midfield. We seem incapable of putting together passing moves due to a chronic lack of movement. We are failing to make use of full backs who could do plenty of damage in attacking phases of play. 

Added to this, Fullarton is obviously overlooking the better players in the squad, most notably Stanley Aborah. Based on that performance today, it’s a complete disgrace Aborah is stood out the back of the Pavis Stand, posing for selfies, telling people he’s fit but Fullarton doesn’t like him and he’s been told to find a new club. Aborah is undoubtedly one of our best players and it’s scandalous Alan Smith is allowed to keep his place over him. Whatever Fullarton’s issue with Aborah is, he needs to bite the bullet and play him.

There are plenty of other players who should be nearer the team than they are currently. Adam Campbell, Graham Burke and Genaro Snijders are just 3 who could have taken Noble’s (or Smith’s with Noble moving into centre midfield) place in that team today.

Oh, and Jimmy Spencer scored again today…

Trew

A lot of people alluded to the idea that Fullarton shouldn’t have been subjected to the abuse he was today, it should have been Trew. This is an idea I can certainly get behind. 

Before we get started, yes, Trew saved our football club. And I and every Notts fan will be eternally grateful for that. But that does not give him a divine right not to be questioned. One major factor of us being in the shit state we find ourselves is Trew. Curle, Allen and Derry should never have been sacked and Short, Ince (fucking Paul Ince…) Kiyomya and Fullarton should never have been hired. 

11 managers in 6 years is an absolute disgrace. Making the same mistake time and time again is also a disgrace and Fullarton is the icing on the cake. When Moniz was sacked we were told we’d be appointing an experienced manager who could get the best out of the team. We got an under 21 coach who interviewed well. Fullarton never had nor will he have the backing of the fans; 6 games in and the fans are singing “Jamie Fullarton get out of our club…”

Trew knew what we needed, the fans knew and I guarantee those players did too and all of a sudden an absolute nobody is given the job. No amount of media fluff masks the fact that Fullarton is more than likely the cheap option, a quiet frontman who won’t bother Trew with requests of exotic talents from the continent. Someone who will be so grateful for a crack at management he’ll bat away the stick the fans will give him with monotone, shit filled interviews. 

All this for £22 a game? You’re kidding me right…?

Something needs sorting at that club, at our club. Trew needs to allow an experiecned Director of Football to do everything football related and employ a seriously good PR person.

Finally, and this might be controversial, but I’d sack Fullarton. What happened today was embarrassing as a fan. I don’t wanted hear hostility like that; but the feeling behind it is fully justified. It’s not Fullarton’s fault he was given the job, but he’s not up to it. Our season is over. Congratulations to whom it may concern.

Notts County vs Leyton Orient.

If Tuesday’s result showed a little bit about what this Notts County squad has, then today’s performance showed us all a lot about what it’s missing.

At 2pm, Uncle Colin announced Notts remained unchanged from the 3-2 win away at Hartlepool. At 3pm, after an injury in the warm up to Gary McKenzie, Wes Atkinson was drafted in at right back with Elliot Hewitt shifting to centre half.

Generally, Notts looked pretty sound defensively. Elliot Hewitt and Haydn Hollis looked a competent pairing; Hollis winning all his ariel battles and Hewitt looking particularly adept at sweeping up behind him. Apart from that, Notts lacked every other quality to take anything from the game.

As before at home, tactically, Notts were set up not to lose; to stifle the opposition and hope to take a 0-0. Alan Smith and Curtis Thompson barely drifted 10 yards away from the back four and Jon Stead was left to marshall the 40 yards of space that left up to Izale McLeod. At home, this tactic won’t (and it certainly didn’t today!) cut it at Meadow Lane. Fans don’t want to pay £22 to stifle an opposition that were equally as woeful as we were today.

The most baffling decision of today was to play Liam Noble on the left of midfield. Fullarton obviously sees the quality Noble possess and he doesn’t want to split up the Thompson/Smith partnership, so he needs to shoe horn him in. What is abundantly clear is Jason Banton can play off both feet and Noble certainly can’t – so why play Noble on the left? With no pace, the only point of having Noble on a wing is to get the ball, get it out of his feet and get it in the box. There’s no chance of that happening deploying him on the left. He might as well not have played today.

These questionable tactics, twinned with the fact we never put 5 passes together made for an awful display. Whenever the back four got the ball, it was hoofed forward in the general direction of McLeod and Stead; nothing measured, nothing on the floor… “bang, head that bastard…”

Thompson and Smith struggled to knit together any consistent passages of play; Smith in particular was poor. It’s not enough to stick your head in a couple of 50/50’s over 90 minutes…

Banton did manage to beat his man a few times but got the ball nowhere near enough to do this on a regular basis, starving Izlae McLeod of any sort of service. McLeod has recently come in for a lot of criticism but to be fair to him, with no service, he isn’t going to fashion chances out of his arse.

 Him and Adams contrived to balls up a promising break, but McLeod needs balls played through to him or crosses into him; neither he had nor does it seem he’ll get with Fullarton’s negative tactics in place.

An awful day was topped off by the fact that Orient were crap as well. Special mentions to Curtis Thompson who made Kevin Nolan look awful and to Orient’s left back for making a living out of the game.

If you’re wondering where all the Fullarton/falling/Aborah/substitute chat is; hold on for the next entry.

Player Ratings;

Roy Carroll 6 – Solid. Distribution deteriorated as the game went on.

Wes Atkinson 5 – Looks to be getting better. Is better than pumping long balls.

Elliot Hewitt 7 – Swept well. Marshalled Simpson well.

Haydn Hollis 6 – Solid. Strong in the air. Not a ball player.

Blair Adams 5 – Struggled worth Noble in front of him; no one to link with.

Jason Banton 6 – Looks a threat. Will get better the fitter he gets.

Curtis Thompson 6 – Regualrly our best player. Some poor short passes but better than most.

Alan Smith 4 – Pointless.

Liam Noble 4 – Not his fault; shouldn’t have played wide left.

Jon Stead 5 – Up against it today, no service or quality around him.

Izale McLeod 5 – Same as Stead. Rapidly becoming this seasons scapegoat.

“Take a draw… Get ’em back to their place.”

As soon as the fixtures come out, there are a few dates every football fan looks for;

  • Opening day
  • Final day
  • Boxing Day
  • New Year’s Day
  • FA Cup Third Round Day

As discussed before, the FA Cup still retains a lot of gravitas amongst English fans. And also, as discussed before, the FA look like they’re trying to hack away at this for the umpteenth time. This time the focus of attention is replays and in particular, the potential scrapping of FA Cup replays.

In a BBC Sport article, the FA are exploring the possibility of scrapping replays because, as they claim;

…”top-flight clubs fear a congested calendar damages their chances in European competitions.

The Football Association also has concerns the season leaves the national team tired for summer tournaments.”
For me, here lies the issue with the FA; they are too concerned with the highest end of the game they are meant to be championing. European and international competitions don’t ‘float the boat’ of a huge percentage of the playing and watching population of English football. Yes we like a successful national team, but I think a lot of people would rather see their own team flourish before England inevitably skulk out of yet another tournament.

What the FA seem to be missing is that cup replays do a fair few things. Firstly, they give the FA Cup the ‘magic’ people proclaim it has. The article alludes to Ronnie Radford and Ryan Giggs, but all fans will have their own replay memories. A few years ago, we took Man City back to the Etihad around the time City were starting to flex their financial muscles. Thousands of Notts fans sang their heart out for 90 minutes – and how different it could have been if Karl Hawley had curled his first 5 minute effort just an inch more.

Secondly, it gives the fans of certain teams (again, a large percentage) an opportunity to mix it with the big boys, if only for one day. Again, the City example stands but every football fan will have their own memory that ended in manful defeat or the classic ‘giant killing’ triumph and the opportunity to be on the BBC’s cup montage for years to come.

Thirdly, and maybe more pertinently, it keeps some clubs afloat or gives them grounds to push on. Last season, Cambridge held Manchester United to a home 0-0 in the fourth round of the cup. That draw saw Cambridge net over an estimated £1 million which enabled them to sort out the facilities at The Abbey Stadium;
“Hopefully we can get the stadium done and start putting in some proper toilets…”

Now that opinion won’t fit all. There will be plenty who want their team to be successful in europe and England to win the Euro’s. For them, they’ll take that at the expense of a shitty Wednesday night down at Meadow Lane.

But for some, the cup replays, twinned with a cup run, can bring about the highlight(s) of a season. It’s time the FA recognised they champion a game for all, not a game for the elite.

And that City game that keeps getting mentioned;

 
2-0 down to City away from home and on the 60th minute we brought on John Thompson. City brought on Carlos Tevez for Mario Balotelli. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the FA Cup…